SALT LAKE CITY — Speaking at a press conference over the weekend, Utah Republicans offered sincere apologies for their major accomplishments from 2014.
GOP Chairman James Evans led the procession of regret on Sunday, saying his party had allowed ill-advised, untested, and “frankly just awful” legislation to find its way into law. But Evans said Republicans would make up for it by spending the 2015 session undoing their unforgivable transgressions.
“Look, we have four days to figure this stuff out, and there are a lot of distractions,” he said. “Like, the (Denver) Broncos were in the Super Bowl, so there was that. Then there’s the beginning of March Madness right when we’re wrapping up, which everyone knows is the most exciting part of March Madness. What else? Oh, and then the Olympics were in February last year, and you just can’t expect people to give it 100 percent when speed skating is on. Have you ever watched speed skating? It’s like NASCAR on ice.”
Evans identified several bills from last year as “embarrassments.” In particular, GOP Sen. Curt Bramble‘s SB 54, which was seen at the time as a forward-thinking compromise to a proposal to reform the state’s primary elections. But despite passing overwhelmingly in the Republican-controlled House and Senate prior to being signed into law by Republican Governor Gary Herbert, Evans claimed that the new law had turned out to be a “monster of incompetent lawmaking.”
“It hasn’t really taken effect yet, but basically it’s the worst thing ever. Curt is just a little inexperienced. I’m not sure he totally knows what he’s doing,” Evans said of the 14-year legislative novice from Provo.
“Compromises are really unnecessary in Utah, so the only right thing to do at this point is to repeal the law unilaterally, which is a manner more suited for Utah leadership.”
Evans also expressed remorse for last year’s push to relocate the state prison, noting that Rep. Merrill Nelson, R-Grantsville, has drafted a bill that would allow the prison to stay in its current location.
At the press conference, Nelson touted his own bill as a solution to “a real dick move.”
“So, yeah,” he said, pausing a few moments to collect his thoughts. “OK. So basically, we almost unanimously passed this resolution that said it would be smart to move the prison. Even I voted for it. I was playing Tap Fish on the floor of the House one day, and I lean over to my intern, and I’m like, ‘What the shit are they talking about?’ And she was all, ‘Blah blah prison blah blah Draper blah blah prime real estate.’ So I just stuck my thumb up and my name went green like everyone else’s. Honestly, I didn’t think we’d be talking about moving a state prison to my district in less than a year later. But here we are, and all of a sudden I’m like, ‘Wow, I should’ve fired that intern for sucking so much ass.'”
In an effort to be more proactive, Evans said GOP lawmakers were already looking forward to fixing this year’s wildly heedless legislation in 2016.